COVID-19 WRAP | SA records 11,859 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 402 deaths

03 January 2021 - 07:18 By TimesLIVE
A boy wears a face mask inside a department store, after the Thai government ordered a temporary closure of various public facilities, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Bangkok, Thailand on January 2 2021.
A boy wears a face mask inside a department store, after the Thai government ordered a temporary closure of various public facilities, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease, in Bangkok, Thailand on January 2 2021.
Image: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

January 03 2020 - 21:42

SA records 11,859 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 402 deaths

SA recorded over 11,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours on Sunday, bringing the cumulative number of infections in the country to 1,100,748.

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize also announced an additional 402 Covid-19 related deaths, leaving the national death toll at 29,577. 

The number of recoveries stands at 903,679.

January 03 2020 - 19:36

Zweli Mkhize spells out SA's Covid-19 vaccine rollout plans

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Sunday that the government was committed to rolling out vaccines with urgency to establish herd immunity against Covid-19.

Speaking during a virtual public briefing, outlining the Department of Health's Covid-19 vaccine rollout strategy, he said they had to be made available to all South Africans, starting with the most vulnerable and health workers.

He said government was targeting 67% or the population in its strategy to establish herd immunity.

January 03 2020 - 19:14

India approves AstraZeneca and local Covid vaccines, roll out seen soon

India's drugs regulator on Sunday approved for emergency use two coronavirus vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by local company Bharat Biotech and a state-run institute.

The decisions mark the first vaccine approvals in India, which after the United States has recorded the most infections of the novel coronavirus, and could enable the country to source vaccines locally.

India is expected to start a massive immunisation programme within about a week, and hopes to inoculate 300 million of its 1.35 billion people free of charge in the first six to eight months of this year.

—Reuters

January 03 2020 - 18:29

WATCH LIVE | Health minister Zweli Mkhize outlines Covid-19 vaccine rollout

The Department of Health will hold a public briefing outlining the Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy on Sunday.

The webinar is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm. 

SA recorded 288 Covid-19 related deaths and 15,002 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, January 2.

January 03 2020 - 17:20

Stricter lockdown restrictions probably on the way, says UK PM Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday tougher lockdown restrictions were probably on the way as Covid-19 cases keep rising, but that schools were safe and children should continue to attend where permitted.

Covid-19 cases in Britain are at record levels and the increase in numbers is fuelled by a new and more transmissible variant of the virus.

The government has cancelled the planned reopening of schools in and around London but teaching unions want wider closures.

—Reuters

January 03 2020 - 16:48

Pope criticises people going on holiday to flee Covid-19 lockdowns

Pope Francis condemned on Sunday people who had gone abroad on holiday to escape coronavirus lockdowns, saying they needed to show greater awareness of the suffering of others.

Speaking after his weekly noon blessing, Francis said he had read newspaper reports of people catching flights to flee government curbs and seek fun elsewhere.

"They didn't think about those who were staying at home, of the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people.

—Reuters

January 03 2020 - 15:22

KZN premier warns illegal booze traders as Covid-19 cases climb

The KwaZulu-Natal government has issued a stern warning to “take it or leave it” liquor merchants and illicit traders who continue to sell alcohol despite the lockdown ban on sales.

“We also want to issue a warning to both established liquor outlets as well as individuals who are selling liquor illegally, the so-called 'take it or leave it' merchants, that we will come for them, because they are enemies of our progress,” said premier Sihle Zikalala.

The premier, speaking on Sunday, described those who sold alcohol despite the ban as “unscrupulous enemies of people’s good health”.

January 03 2020 - 15:21

Staff and oxygen shortages in second wave tremor, front-line workers fear Covid-19 tsunami

As South Africans battle to breathe and flood emergency wards, scenes reminiscent of the first wave of the pandemic that caused hospitals in Italy and New York to flat line, are starting to play out in SA.

SA experienced two spikes this week — a daily death count of 497 on Tuesday and more than 17,000 positive infections within 24 hours on Wednesday. The records confirmed what experts predicted about the damage and devastation of the second wave on the country and its embattled health-care system.

On Saturday, SA recorded 288 more Covid-19 related deaths bringing the total to 29,175. There were 15,002 new positive cases bringing the total number to 1,088,889. The Eastern Cape had 92 more deaths, the Free State 9, Gauteng 39, KwaZulu-Natal 29, Mpumalanga 6, Northern Cape 2 and the Western Cape 111.

January 03 2020 - 14:27

Living on the frontline: a Durban hospital doctor’s day

It’s 7am. I take over from the night doctor. She looks tired, like she’s had no sleep the entire night. She hands over five patients waiting from the day before for beds, and two for review.

She can barely speak because of the mask and long night. I say, “Get some rest.” She looks at me, giving me the look of “goodluck”. The night has defeated her.

I go back to my car. Put on my plastic apron, my butcher’s thick apron, my half face respirator and my visor and I’m ready.

January 03 2020 - 14:13

Guests to self-isolate in game park due to Covid — but must cook and clean

Guests at a KwaZulu-Natal wildlife resort where a manager tested positive for Covid-19 have been offered the option of self-isolating there — but will have to do the cooking and housekeeping themselves.

Hilltop Resort inside Hlhluwe iMfolozi Park was closed as a precautionary measure on the advice of a medical team after the manager tested positive.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife confirmed in a statement on Saturday that the manager had, as part of his duties, interacted with all resort staff and guests, prompting the decision to close the resort.

January 03 2020 - 12:49

Nearly 3,000 nabbed for New Year lockdown violations in Western Cape

While a significant reduction in crime was noted by police nearly 3,000 people have been fined for violating the lockdown regulations since New Year's Eve in the Western Cape.

Police issued 2,915 fines since Thursday evening, most of them (2,185) were for curfew transgressions in terms of the Disaster Management Act, the SAPS said on Sunday.

Notable successes included the closure of 29 illegal shebeens, 32 arrests for illegal alcohol sales and 11,000 litres of liquor was confiscated.

January 03 2020 - 08:51

Australia's virus cluster expands further as masks made compulsory

Australia's most-populous state of New South Wales on Sunday reported eight new Covid-19 cases as new social distancing restrictions and mandatory mask wearing kicked in while neighbouring Victoria had three new cases.

The New South Wales outbreak, which began around mid-December at Sydney's Northern Beaches, now totals 148. There are also smaller clusters in Sydney's west and south, which authorities fear could rise in coming days.

NSW will enforce mask wearing from midnight in indoor venues like gaming rooms, hair salons, nail salons and retail shops.

January 03 2020 - 07:08

'Use the Covid Alert SA app to protect yourself and your loved ones': Zweli Mkhize

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